Sustainable lighting solutions. Now that is a mouthful. Property management groups whether on the residential side or commercial are making some major shifts when it comes to this little item called a light bulb. Why? It can represent potentially thousands upon thousands of dollars in savings. Let’s take a look at history and current best practices when it comes to lights, how much money you are spending and how much savings you can bank on.
We could easily say this form of light bulb is where history began. Back in the 1800’s the first Arc Lamp was produced and from there an overall standard of light bulbs had progressed throughout the years. However this proved to be a very inefficient form of lighting and has been gradually been phased out as a standard due to various government regulations. An incandescent light bulb only converts 5% of the energy it pulls into light. Not very efficient. This form of light can easily lend itself to a very old joke: How many real estate maintenance professionals does it take to change a light bulb? Too many and too often if you are still using incandescent lighting for your real estate asset. This is no longer considered a standard in sustainable lighting. (Please see chart below)
CFL Compact Fluorescent Lamp
The compact fluorescent lamp was next in line to take over the incandescent bulb. A fluorescent lamp uses approximately ⅓ to ⅕ the electricity that an incandescent bulb uses and lasts anywhere from 8-15 times longer. This takes into account the manufacturer and the conditions the bulb is placed in. Here is where it starts to get interesting from a sustainability perspective. A 13-15 watt CFL has an output of approximately 800 lumens. To achieve the same lumens in an incandescent bulb you would need a 60 watt bulb. So you do the math. This was a fairly easy transition for the real estate community. The one challenge that came was having to replace fixtures initially depending on the type of installation. Still overall there is significant savings when converting from an incandescent solution. This is the path of sustainable lighting. (Please see chart below)
LED Light Emitting Diode
LED lighting has been cast aside for many years now because of its upfront costs. Most real estate professionals had a hard time justifying the cost versus the savings. Times have changed and LED lighting solutions are now much more financially palatable. There are plenty of warranties and rebates out there that help make this conversion an easier financial proces. A LED light bulb uses almost half the power of a CFL and lasts 5 times as long. (please see chart below) If you are an investor or asset manager you need to make sure that warranties associated with LED installations can be passed on as part of the transaction. Not only does this make sense from a financial “score” but real estate professionals are also increasingly becoming cognizant of their overall “green” score. What does this mean?
Sustainable Lighting And Its Future
The next generations of renters, investors or commercial tenants are millennials by age or by thinking. Why do we see so many reports of the top “Green” cities in the country. The overall representation of an asset being “Green” is playing into a consumer’s decisions and this needs to be recognized.
There are plenty of other light emitting inventions out there but the purpose of this article was to establish a baseline of what are standard installations in the real estate industry and to highlight some key facts that will help justify the conversion to much more sustainable lighting solutions.
Southern Energy Solutions will be happy to guide you along this path. Contact us today for a consultation.
Hat tip and credits to energyusecalculator.com for their resources